90 (18 media markets * 5 weeks)
Texas comprises 20 DMAs of varying geographic and population size. Of these, the campaign was willing to allow experiments in 18, regarding the other two (Houston and Dallas–Fort Worth) as too politically important to leave to chance.
In light of the heterogeneity of the DMAs, we matched them as closely as possible based on demographic and socioeconomic attributes and then randomly assigned members of each stratum into an ordering that indicated the start date of the broadcast television campaign (See online Appendix C for a list of these matches). Within each weekly rollout bracket, we randomly assigned the quantity of weekly GRPs to be purchased: 250, 500, or 1,000. The rollout dates were then given to the campaign's television media buyer, who arranged to purchase the quantity of broadcast TV ads that we specified for each DMA each week. (The experiment did not randomize the stations and programs on which the ads were placed. Broadcast TV ads were purchased in a variety of stations based on the campaign consultants’ strategic judgment.)
Texans for Rick Perry kicked off its campaign with an advertising message that highlighted the governor's accomplishments and charisma. In an attempt to appeal to a broad spectrum of Texas voters, the television ad sought to link positive images of the photogenic governor with voters’ pride in the state of Texas. The scenes sweep from Texas landscapes to a schoolroom to a doctor's office, with Governor Perry's voiceover: "I've never been more proud to call myself a Texan. In Texas we've set the national standard for economic development. We gained 300,000 new jobs. Lawsuit reform is bringing better healthcare to millions. We've invested ten billion new dollars in our public schools while improving standards of accountability for student performance. Our people are compassionate. Our vision, bold. Our values, strong. The best is yet to come. I'm proud of Texas. How ’bout you?" The radio ad followed a similar format but with more specific references to accomplishments.
Voter preference (ballot test)